Workplace innovation at Allianz France, with Carlos Martins

Hybrid Stories
October 9, 2023
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Since 2020, in response to the health crisis, Allianz France has been adapting its working methods through new approaches as part of its VECA - Vivre Ensemble Chez Allianz - initiative, with a strong focus on listening to its employees. As is the case in most companies today, a hybrid working style is now the norm.

Carlos Martins, Head of Workplace Innovation, looks back at the latest developments in the working environment: discover how remote work and flex office have led Allianz France to change its working model and corporate culture.

What new ways of working at Allianz?

New conditions for remote work

Using a collaborative approach, Allianz France consulted its 9,000 or so employees at length to define remote working methods. Since 2020, employees have been able to work remotely for up to three days a week. To maintain team spirit and social ties between employees, and avoid the risk of isolation, the company has insisted on maintaining a minimum of two days in the office per week.

Allianz France has also introduced several measures to employee well-being in this "hybrid" working environment:

  • A package from remote work to equip each remote employee (ergonomic chair, mouse, keyboard, headset, screen, plus a "ticket restaurant" card).
  • Payment of an allowance remote work based on the number of days worked remotely
  • Training courses for managers, to perfect their management skills in this hybrid environment

A successful transition to flex office thanks to co-construction

The adoption of the hybrid mode was the starting point for a global reflection on the optimization of workspaces. Space savings were possible by combining the possibility of working remotely with flex office. This necessitated in-depth consideration of office layout.

A zoning organization was chosen.

"At Allianz France today, 75% of the workforce is organized as a flex office. Floors are divided into neighborhoods of 35 to 40 workstations. Each district groups together several teams. Nevertheless, most of the workstations remain open and accessible to all!"

The aim was to design work environments that foster exchange, collaboration and productivity.

According to Carlos, the success of this switch to the flex office rested on three pillars:

  1. Setting up joint HR, Real Estate and IT governance to take into account the opinions and needs of all stakeholders.
  2. Co-construction with employees through workshops
  3. Internalization of the entire value chain, with the entire Real Estate team taking charge of this major change in space planning.

As part of this flex office approach, Allianz also offers employees the possibility of reserving their workstations in advance. This approach allows employees to freely choose where to work for the day, according to their needs, projects or preferences at the time,based on the principle ofActivity Based Working.

The concept of reserving workstations encourages interaction between employees, promoting informal meetings, the sharing of ideas and synergies between different teams. Group dynamics have been strengthened, creating a stimulating and pleasant working environment.

The quest for energy sobriety

As part of its CSR approach, Allianz France has signed the Ecowatt charter. Among the actions carried out during the winter of 2022-2023, Allianz France decided to completely close one of its flagship sites at La Défense, the Tour Neptune, on Fridays. As floor management was not possible, this total closure reduced the building's weekly consumption:

  • about 18% for gas
  • and around 6% for electricity
The Neptune tower at La Défense, closed every Friday during the Allianz experiment. Photo credit: Paris La Défense

This energy-saving program continued over the summer: air conditioning was switched on at 25-26°C, teams were made aware of the issue, and the Neptune Tower was closed for a further two weeks in August.

Coworking as a new workspace

Since Covid, some companies have chosen to create "hubs" in different parts of the country, to group employees in strategic locations. These hubs complement a strategy in which the head office takes up less space.

At Allianz France, we're testing the idea of granting employees a quota for access to third places(coworking in particular), where they can work or meet freely.

→ See our article on ticket bureau

This possibility could also prove to be a powerful lever of attractiveness for the employer brand and recruitment teams: offering workspaces all over France could expand the potential talent pool.

Gain inspiration through visits and exchanges with peers

So how does Carlos find the inspiration he needs to get the job done?

"I spend a lot of time drawing inspiration from new environments, whether in major groups (Maison Sanofi, Pernod Ricard in Paris and Marseille...) or in innovative startups. I feed our reflections with the innovations initiated by these players!"

Carlos also relies on an ecosystem of young startups, some of which are supported by the Allianz France gas pedal, which provide innovative products and services for tomorrow's Work Environment, such as Osol, WorkAdventure, and Hiitch!

If you enjoyed this exchange, or would like to share your vision of the future of the Work Environment, drop us a line at!